FROM PRESS RELEASE
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Senior Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) netted the overtime game-winner on a wraparound shot to give the Wildcats a 13-12 overtime victory over Bucknell on Saturday afternoon. In a game that featured seven ties and four lead changes, No. 9 Villanova relied on the strength of upperclassmen experience and junior Jack Rice’s (Baltimore, Md.) career-high six goals to propel the Wildcats to the win.
“Our offense played fast, we were picking great, and spinning the ball quick, finding guys on the backside, that’s what I think was very effective for us,” Rice said.
Sophomore faceoff specialist Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) won the final 11 face-offs of the game starting at the 8:18 mark of the third quarter and continuing until overtime. Prior to that point, the Wildcats were just 6-of-18 from the face-off X but eventually finished 17-of-29 for the day.
Villanova trailed 11-10 with just over three minutes left in regulation when the Wildcats scored the game-tying and go-ahead goals just 10 seconds apart from junior Max Hart’s (Bethesda, Md.) unassisted tally. Just 10 seconds later, Rice scored on a feed from sophomore LSM John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) to give Villanova a 12-11 lead.
In the back-and-forth contest, however, that lead stood for just over a minute before Bucknell tied the game for the third time in eight minutes on a goal by Todd Heritage with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter.
In the first half, Villanova scored four of the first five goals and built a 6-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Four different Wildcats posted scores during that span, including seniors Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.) Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) and sophomore Kevin O’Neil (Cockeysville, Md.), while Rice netted three of his six scores during that run.
Bucknell eventually scored three straight goals to tie the game at 6-6 with 1:11 left before intermission, but a goal from Cunningham with just 26 seconds left sent the Wildcats back to the locker rooms with a 7-6 advantage.
Rice was one of four Wildcats with at least three points for the day, while Cunningham and Vigilante each contributed two goals and one assist. Senior C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) contributed a game and career-high five assists.
Defensively, sophomore Chris Piccirilli (Davidsonville, Md.) and LoCascio each nabbed five ground balls while Croonquist led the team with eight pick-ups off of his face-off performance. Senior goalkeeper Dan Gutierrez (Chevy Chase, Md.) tallied a career-high 15 saves in the victory, including nine in the first half, to aid in the win. Bucknell’s Kyle Feeney notched 16 saves despite recording his third-straight defeat.
No. 9 Villanova returns to action on Tuesday, February 28th when they host Drexel (1-1) at Villanova Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova is 10-of-14 (71.4%) on man-up opportunities through the first two games of the season, including 4-of-5 (80%) in today’s win over Bucknell… Villanova’s last overtime win came last season and was also at home in a 9-8 decision over Penn on March 12, 2011… The Wildcats are 4-3 (.571) in overtime games since Head Coach Mike Corrado became head coach in 2007… VU has won three of their last four overtime games dating back to 2009.
Photos by Alex Cena
100403 NCAA LAX Notre Dame at Villanova – Images by Alex Cena
VILLANOVA, Pa. – The No. 15 Villanova Wildcats (6-3, 1-1 BIG EAST) secured their first-ever BIG EAST win with a four goal fourth quarter performance to rally over No. 18 Notre Dame (5-4, 0-2 BIG EAST), 9-8, at Villanova Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) led the team with three goals and one assist while senior classmates Paul Webber (Manhasset, N.Y.) and Mark Scioscia (East Hampton, N.Y.) each contributed with two goals apiece in front of the biggest home crowd of the season with 1,293 fans in attendance.
With the victory, Villanova reached their ninth consecutive home win dating back to March 14, 2009 and gained their first win over the Irish since 1992.
Junior LSM Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y.) states, “It’s an awesome win for us. We take pride in all our home wins, but this is really special to us with it being our first BIG EAST win and it coming on our turf in our stadium.”
With only six goals coming in the first 30 minutes of play, Villanova got off to the right start with four unanswered goals coming within the first two quarters from freshman Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.), Cunningham, sophomore Matt Bell (Serverna Park, Md.) and Scioscia all tallying scores.
Notre Dame bookended the four VU goals with the first score of the game just 2:10 into the contest off a Grant Krebs score. Zach Brenneman followed with the second score of the day late in the second period with 4:11 remaining in the half. Going into intermission, Villanova held a 4-2 advantage.
The third quarter saw points from ND’s Steve Murphy and Villanova’s Cunningham at the 5:39 and 1:48 marks, respectively.
With more goals coming in the fourth quarter then throughout the first 45 minutes of play, the Wildcats held a 5-3 advantage going into the final period. Notre Dame began the scoring barrage with five unanswered scores within seven minutes, with goals coming from Zach Brenneman and Mike Creighton on man-up and man-down opportunities at the 14:23 and 13:46 marks. ND’s Neal Hicks, Max Pfeifer and David Earl followed suit just two minutes later to give the Irish an 8-5 advantage with just seven minutes left to play.
After a Villanova timeout, the Wildcats got the ball rolling with a Cunningham goal from a Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) pass to get VU within two of the Irish. 36 seconds later, Scioscia netted his second goal of the game and his tenth of the season off an unassisted play while Webber tallied two scores, including the game winner, with five minutes remaining to give the Wildcats the 9-8 advantage and the victory over the Irish.
Karalunas states, “Coach [Corrado] always talks about how it’s a game of runs. In the fourth [quarter] we knew we couldn’t break so we just kept running; we weathered the storm. The final fifteen minutes really showed that we have the grit to compete with anyone.”
Karalunas led the Wildcats defense with four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Senior Bryan McCartney (Doylestown, Pa.), junior Mike Brennan (Manhasset, N.Y.) and freshman keeper Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) all tallied four ground balls on the day. Notre Dame’s Mike Creighton, brother to Villanova’s Chris Creighton, led the Irish defense with three caused turnovers and three ground balls for the day.
In goal, VU’s Hurley is credited with the win while making nine saves. For the season, Hurley is 3-1 in the cage for the Wildcats. Notre Dame’s John Kemp tallied 10 saves in the defeat.
The Wildcats will be back in action on Saturday, April 10th when they travel to Bronx, N.Y. to face the Jaspers of Manhattan. Face-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Notes: Villanova had previously lost nine straight meetings to the Irish between 1995-2009 before today’s victory… Villanova had won four straight against Notre Dame between 1987-1992… The win marks the third of season for the Wildcats versus a ranked opponent… Villanova is 10-1 at home since the beginning of the 2009 season… With today’s victory, the Wildcats have won nine straight at Villanova Stadium.
From Press Release:
NEWARK, Del. – The Villanova Wildcats (4-2, 0-0) brought home their fourth win of the season against previous CAA conference rival Delaware (4-4, 0-0), winning in Delaware Stadium, 11-8. Villanova sophomore attackman Matt Bell (Serverna Park, Md.) led the Wildcats with a two goal, two assist performance while freshman Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) tallied three goals in the victory in front of a crowd of 2,125.
Villanova got out to a quick 2-0 lead when Bell scored his sixth goal of the season on an unassisted play two minutes into the first quarter. Eight minutes later, Bell returned the favor by assisting on a Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) goal to get the lead with 5:22 left to play in quarter. At the 2:02 mark, Delaware’s Grant Kaleikau capitalized on an unassisted play to give the Blue Hens their first score of the game, rounding out the first fifteen minutes with a 2-1 lead favoring VU.
To begin the second quarter, national points leader and UDel attackman Curtis Dickson evened the score at two-all within a minute to start of the period, but VU responded with a Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) goal to continue the Villanova lead at 3-2. To end out the half, Bell netted his second goal of the game with time winding down off a Will Casertano (Millbrook, N.Y.) assist. Going into the locker room, VU held the lead, 4-3.
The third period marked an offensive scoring streak for both teams, with VU scoring four goals from Casertano, senior Paul Webber (Manhasset, N.Y.), junior Mike Brennan (Manhasset, N.Y.) and freshman Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) and Delaware getting points from Nick Elsmo and Grant Kaleikau. At the end of the third, Villanova led, 8-5.
The final fifteen minutes found Delaware getting on top with a goal from Chris Hichborn, assisted by Mark Stevenson. VU found two goals within two minutes from Rice and assisted by sophomore Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) for both plays. Casertano netted the last Villanova goal of the game with 2:54 left to play, getting the assist from juniorT.J. O’Donnell (Randolph, N.J.), while UDel’s Cahill and John Austin rounded out the Blue Hens scoring for quarter.
With his goal today, UDel’s Dixon broke the school’s record for consecutive games scoring a point, last held by Anthony Dimarzo (1992-1995).
Villanova dominated in face-offs, winning 13-22 attempts and stifled UDel’s extra-man opps, continuing their perfect streak of defending on man-down defense.
In goal, Villanova freshman Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) garnered his first minutes in cage for the season and made 12 saves with the victory. Delaware’s Noah Fossner made 11 saves in the defeat.
Villanova is back in action on Wednesday, March 24th when they host Drexel in Villanova Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
New York: Darius Johnson-Odom scored a career-high 24 points and Lazar Hayward added 20 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Golden Eagles to an 80-76 win over No. 10 Villanova in front of close to 20,000 people at the 2010 Big East Men’s Basketball Championship quarterfinals held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on March 11, 2010.